Mount St. Mary's Kitur seeks cross country title
The fall championship season begins in earnest this weekend with five cross country meets that involve state teams.
Mount St. Mary's goes to Staten Island, N.Y., for the Northeast Conference meet at Wagner. Freshman Bernard Kitur wants to join a fellow Kenyan as an NEC champion, since Peter Rono, the 1988 Olympic gold medalist in the 1,500 meters, won the title in 1989 and '90 while with Mount St. Mary's.
Kitur, who won the Maryland State championship and had an average margin of victory of 50 seconds in his first four races, suffered his first loss of the season last week at the Allentown (Pa.) Invitational. Leading at the midway mark, he cramped up in his first cold-weather race and slipped to seventh place.
Mount St. Mary's is the defending NEC women's champion.
Frostburg State, which was fourth in a 31-team field at Allentown, is the favorite for the Eastern States Athletic Conference meet at Salisbury State Saturday. Matt Larmore and James DiIenno, who have been teammates since their days at Salesianum High in Wilmington, Del., are trying to lead the Bobcats back into the NCAA Division III field.
Also Saturday, Goucher will be host to the Capital Athletic Conference championships and Johns Hopkins will attend the University Athletic Association gathering at Case Western. Loyola goes to the Metro Atlantic meet Sunday in New York.
Maryland, which got its stiffest test in the Oct. 10 state championships from Frostburg State, is making do without any scholarships. With senior Rob DeFilippis and junior walk-ons Jon Sushinsky (Richard Montgomery High) and Chris Shelby (Old Mill) showing the way, coach Dan Rincon hopes the Terps can climb into the top half of the Atlantic Coast Conference championships Oct. 31.
Back in the rankings again
The state has another team in the Division I national rankings.
Maryland has been a season-long presence in field hockey and Navy's cross country and water polo teams are No. 7 and 16, respectively. Now Loyola is back in the Intercollegiate Soccer Association of America Gatorade rankings for the first time since 1987. The Greyhounds share the 24th -- and last -- spot with Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.
The Greyhounds (11-2-1) are at Fairfield today. If they can avoid Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference upsets there and at Niagara and Canisius this weekend, their Oct. 30 regular-season finale at No. 18 William & Mary easily will be their biggest game of the season.
The biggest match of the coming weekend sends Navy to Army on Friday night. The Mids (10-4-1) appear headed to a return berth in the Patriot League semifinals, where they lost to Army last year.
The possibility of Frank Olszewski's 100th coaching victory is the main selling point of the Towson State Invitational. It won't come easy, as Saturday's (1:30 p.m.) semifinal opponent is West Virginia Wesleyan, No. 1 in the NAIA rankings.
Moving up in Division III
Like Loyola, Salisbury State finishes the soccer season with a crucial game.
On Oct. 31 the Sea Gulls (10-2) play at Methodist, a North Carolina power ranked No. 1 among Division III teams in the South. Salisbury State, the No. 8 team in the South, can get a school record for victories in a season against Holy Family today (3:30 p.m.).
The Sea Gulls became the first Eastern States Athletic Conference team to go through conference play without allowing a goal, and they haven't given up more than one since a season-opening 2-1 loss at Randolph-Macon. Coach Gerry DiBartolo's team went 4-0 against state competition.
UMBC can match its school record of eight straight volleyball victories in today's (7 p.m.) Big South Conference match against visiting Towson State. . . . Navy volleyball is unbeaten in the Patriot League. . . . The winner of today's St. Mary's at Mary Washington match will claim the women's soccer title in the Capital Athletic Conference. . . . Frostburg State dominated the ESAC women's tennis tournament, with Colleen Sauer, Aimee St. Martin (Notre Dame Prep) and Marsha Morningstar (Smithsburg) sweeping the top three singles titles.